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The unity of the Islamic ummat (society) is one of the issues which is of great importance.

In order for its protection and continuance special programs exit. One of these is congregational prayer.

- During congregational prayer one of the persons who is praying who has outstanding characteristics stands in front of the congregation, the others stand in orderly lines behind Imam and pray with the Imam in harmony.

Importance of congregational prayers

In addition to the fact that in (Hadith)Traditions and words of the 14 In fallibles much attention and reward has been granted to congregational prayer, much attention has also been given to it in Ahkam Islamic rules.  In the following section we will mention someof them.

313 - To participate in congregational prayer is Mustahab, especially for those persons who live in the neighbourhood of a mosque.

314 - It is Mustahab to postpone prayers with an intention to participate in congregational prayers.

315 - Praying in mass is better then individual prayin 2 at its prime time.

316 - Congregational prayers which is short is better than individual prolonged prayer.

317 - It is not proper to abandon congregational prayers without a justifiable excuse.

318 - It is not permissible to absent oneself from the congregational prayer due to indifference.

The conditions of congregational prayers

319 - When congregational prayers, are offered, these following conditions should be attended:
a- A follower (Mamum) should not stand infront of leader (Imam) and it is obligatory precaution that he/she stand behind the Imam.

b- The place where the Imam stands shouldnot be at a higher level than the place offollower.

c- The distance between Imam and M─mumand between the lines of Mamums should not be much and it is caution that they should not be at a distance of more than one foot.

d- There should not be any obstruction like a curtain, which blocks the view between Imam and the follower, nor between one person and another follower who is a link between him/her and the Imam.

320 - The Imam of the congregational prayers should be an adult (Baligh), sane (Adil) able to offer the prayers correctly.

Uniting and joining in congregational prayers.

321 - In any Rak-at, a person can join the Imam during Qar-at and in Ruku, if the follower cannot reach the Ruku of the Imam, he/she must join in next Rak-at, and if he/she reaches the Ruku of the Imam only it is considered as one Rak-at.

322 - The different cases for joining to congregational prayer.

In the first Rak-at

a- During Qara-at: If a person joins the Imam during the time of Qara-a, he/she must recite Surah Al-Hamd and other Surah and performs other acts with the Imam.

b- In Ruku: if a person joins the Imam when he is in Ruku, he/she performs Ruku and other acts with the Imam.

Second Rak-at

a- During Qara-at : If a person joins the Imam in the second Rak-at, it is not necessary for him/her to recite Surah Al-Hamd and Surah, but he/she may recite Qunut and Ruku and Sajdahs and when the Imam recites Tashahhud recommended precaution is that he/she should keep the fingers of his/her hands and the toes of the inner past of his/her feet on the ground and raise his/her knees. (since this is counted as that person's first Rak-at)
And if the prayer is 2 Rak-ats, the person should perform another Rak-at alone, and if the prayer is 3 or 4 Rak-at, he/she should sit after the two sajdahs in the second Rak-at,which will be third of Imam, and reciteTashahhud, and then should stand up. And if he/she does not have time to recite theTasbihat Arbah, he/she should recite it once, and then join the Imam in Ruku, and in last Rak-at which the Imam recites Tashahhud and Salam he/she should offer one Rak-at again.

b- In Ruku. A person offer's Ruku with the Imam and the rest of the prayer was stated before.

Third Rak-at

a- During Qara-at: If a person joins the Imam when he is in the third Rak-at, he/she should recite Surah Al-Hamd and the other Surah and if one knows that if he/she joins him and recite Surah Al-Hamd she/he will not be able to reach him, as an obligatory precaution, he/she should wait till Imam goes to Ruku and then join.

b- In Ruku: If a person joins the Imam at the time of Ruku, and participates in Ruku of the Imam, it will be treated as one Rak-at and it will not be necessary for him/her to recite Surah Al - Hamd and the other Surah and the rest of the prayer was stated before.

Fourth Rak-at

a- During Qara-at: It has the rule of the third Rak-at and when the Imam sits for recitring theTashahhud and Salam in the fourth Rak-at, the Mamum can stand up and recite the rest of his/her prayer individually or can squat keeping the fingers of his/her hands and the toes of the inner part of his/her feet on the ground and raise his/her knees till theTashahhud and Salam of Imam is ended and then stand up.

b- In Ruku: A person performs Ruku and Sajdahs with the Imam (The Imam is in the forth Rak-at and the Mamum is in the first Rak-at now) and the rest of the prayer as was stated before.

Rules of Congregational Prayer

323 - When an Imam leading a congregationel daily preyers, one can follow him for any of the daily prayers.  So if the Imam recites the Asr prayer, the Mamum can follow him for the Zuhr prayer and if the Mamum has recited the Zuhr prayer and the congregational prayer is performed he/she can follow the Imam for theAsr Prayer.

324 - The Mamum can follow the Imam for his/her individual Qadha for missed daily prayers when the Imam recites Ada prayer, if the Imam of congregaticonal prayer is offering his own daily prayers the Mamum can follow him when she/he is offering Qadqa prayer, although it is the Qadha of the other prayers.  For example when the Imam of congregational prayer is reciting the Zuhr prayer the Mamum can follow and make the Qadha of Fajr prayer.

325 - The minium number of people for congregational prayer is two persons one person is the Imam and the other Person is Mamum (except in Friday prayer)

326 - Mustahab prayers are not performed in congregation except the prayer for requesting rain from God.

327 - The follower should not say Takbiratul Ehram before the Imam. As an obligatory precaution she/he should not say the Takbir until the Takbir of the Imam is completed.

328 - It is necessary for the follower to recite all the parts of the prayers him/herself, except Surah Al-Hamd and the other Surah, however if his/her first or second Rak-at coincides with the third or fourth Rak-at of the Imam, he/she should recite Surah Al-Hamd and the Surah.